Henning - Sammy - Phoenix, AZ

Mark & Paula Henning
Phoenix, Arizona

Rescue: Sammy BG#100346

Sammy’s Story

Sammy’s story is a lot of mystery. He was not like any Berner we had ever known. Very withdrawn, head down, lacking the sparkling, outgoing personality that had drawn us to the breed. We had just lost our first male, Hayden, to DM and lymphoma and the Arizona Rescue was flooded with dogs. We had maxed out our foster families and poor Sammy was living in a boarding crate for 25 days after an incident with his prior owner. He had a reputation for aggressive behavior towards other dogs and humans. Still, we saw him there and decided he needed a chance. We had to give him a chance.

We took Sammy into our home and quickly learned he needed very special handling. He had to be kept separated from the other animals in the house. He had to be bribed to do things and even then he was so stubborn, food would not motivate him. Try to push him too far and he would hold his ground and growl. What was his past? We hated to even speculate. For his vet checks, they would muzzle him to handle him safely. He never lashed out at any of them but his mannerisms kept them cautious.

As time passed he was making daily progress. He would greet other foster parents with a Berner bump. He would come nose to nose with the other Berners without a growl or a bark. He became a very clingy companion who loved to cuddle by the sofa especially when the weather turned colder. We actually began to see a Berner “smile” in the wag of his tail. He was the only Berner we have ever had who would give Berner hugs when we came home and began to greet others this way also even if we discouraged it.

We were making great strides with Sammy but realized it was going to take a very special owner to adopt him. We knew we would have Sammy for a long time or maybe forever. He was more trusting and loving each day. But, we never got a chance to find out how good a dog Sammy could be. Sammy was a very inactive, quiet, and laid back. Suddenly, one evening, he became very ill and passed away in our home. So unexpected and quickly, there was nothing we could do for him and we were unbelievably devastated. Only with the necropsy results did we learn Sammy had died from bloat. To be with us for such a short time, his loss was especially hard. We miss him greatly.